Sunday, August 7, 2011

Abscesses, guitars, and guts…oh my!

Friday was full of the unexpected. I had come home to my parent's house for the weekend in anticipation of a bridal shower in my honor, only to discover another less anticipated surprise. Around 3 o'clock in the afternoon I headed to the bathroom to make a routine mid-afternoon J-Poucher pit stop, only to find my ileostomy scar swollen and full of pus and blood. A hard, golf ball-sized patch under the site became swollen and began to drain through the scar. Two hours before this "surprise" bridal shower, I was laying on my mom's bed while a good family friend (who just happens to be an RN) inspected the wound and confirmed that I am now dealing with yet another abscess. Thankfully, this abscess has been draining through the scar and as long as it continues to drain I will be able to avoid another visit/stay in the hospital. Let's keep our fingers crossed because Guitars for Guts is now one week away and I have been looking forward to this day for quite a long time!

So, why come to Guitars for Guts? Because of stories like Blake's, Ben's,  Iris' or Jess' or one of the millions of others that are suffering worldwide from these debilitating gastrointestinal diseases. Only we can make a difference. By donating $25 and spending a Sunday afternoon listening to four amazing and original bands (all of whom have been affected on a very personal level by these diseases), we can get THAT much closer to finding a cure for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. We will be THAT much closer to finding a new road for millions of people to walk down; a road that leads to fulfilling and active lifestyles. 

Although complete removal of the colon and rectum serves as a superficial "cure" for Ulcerative Colitis, it is not true cure. UC patients will still suffer from systemic inflammation and many other extraintestinal complications for the rest of their lives; including, but not limited to gallstones, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney stones, skin rashes, liver disease, and so on. There is no effective cure to treat the intestinal or digestive symptoms of Crohn's Disease. 

IBD does not make headlines like breast cancer, AIDS, or many other tragic and debilitating diseases and, hence, does not receive nearly as much funding for research. This needs to change. Our digestive tracts may not symbolize femininity and a diagnosis may not signal a death sentence, but a diagnosis of IBD can be devastating as well. For many patients, a diagnosis of IBD can mean an end to life as we know it. Life is short for all of us; let's give IBD patients that chance to make the most of it. 

If you cannot attend Guitars for Guts, please consider making a donation to our fund. Thank you in advance for your generous support. Every penny makes a big difference for the lives of millions of our family and friends. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katie,

    I have started to read your blog and I just want to thank you for sharing your experience. My name is Mark and I have had UC since '87 (I just turned 41 on 8/14). I am facing what you went through the end of this depends on what the results are from my colonoscopy that I am going to have in November. I had mild cell dysplasia back in January, but none from my colonoscopy in May.

    Anyway, being that I am faced with this surgery I started researching surgeaons and me and my wife were very comfortable with Dr. Procacino and I think I am going to go with him as my surgeon if I have to get this done at the end of the year. From what I have read so far of your posts, I take it that you would recommend him?

    Please let me know what your thoughts are on him (though you have already shared a lot of positive stuff regarding him in your blog). You can email me at

    How did the benefit go? Were you able to pull it off with the weather the way it was?? What a crappy day.

    Anyway, your blog has been incredible for me and thanks again for being so courageous and sharing all of your experiences. It looks like I will be facing hell when I have to go through this. Thank God for my wife and family. But now I will be able to draw inspiration from you as well! You clearly are a strong and inspiring person! Good luck with your upcoming wedding and congrats!!